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The Illustrator

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Meet SAM - The Illustrator

This is Sam.  Sam is an illustrator and muralist living in London and New York with his wife Ali and his tuxedo, bi-colored cat named, Margarita.  Margarita is being recruited as the model for another book we are working on, but that is another story. . .

Sam says he was always drawing and painting from a young age and ended up going to school to study Fine Arts.  His work has been featured in exhibitions in London and America and he has also worked on children’s books and editorials for The Guardian, Empire Online, Urban Outfitters and The English National Opera.

Sam creates his work using a variety of techniques from watercolor painting, paper scribbling, spray paint, Lamy pen and knits everything together using Photoshop.

I met Sam during a family gathering.  He had joined the family by marrying Ali and they were in California visiting her parents. The two of them had just returned to Turlock from visiting my daughter in Venice Beach where Sam had entertained three of my grandchildren by drawing the most amazing on demand drawings. This evening he was charming everyone with his British accent.  One of my grandsons was listening intently and took up mimicking Sam’s accent for weeks. 

At some point in the evening I mentioned to Sam that I had always wanted to write a children’s book and then proceeded to share the story of when Wren, all of two, insisted on carrying a very large, very heavy spaghetti squash from the car into the house.  As you can imagine that didn’t work out so well.  She dropped the large spaghetti squash and it rolled across the street, literally knocking an elderly neighbor and his dog to the ground.  I explained that the neighbor, John, suffered only a few scrapes and bruises and actually found a bit of humor in the incident. 

I also described the corner of Manhattan Beach Blvd. and 28th Avenue where the rolling first began.

Sam, the ever-amiable Brit listened politely.  Soon after returning to London I emailed a photograph of the sloping road and the path from Wren’s house to the strand.  In return, Sam sent me the most amazing rendering of the corner in water colors.  The collaboration between Sam and me had begun.


Sam lives by his favorite quote:

“It is simply this: do not tire, never lose interest, never grow indifferent – lose your invaluable curiosity and you let yourself die.  It’s as simple as that.”

- Tove Jansson -